Is faith nothing more then magic?

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playhavock
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Is faith nothing more then magic?

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Post by playhavock »

"Is faith nothing more then magic?"


Welcome readers! I would first like to thank Ted aka ttruscott for agreeing to debate, I asked Ted to debate the topic in question because of two reasons that I think will shine in this debate, one his signature says "FAITH IS NOT MAGIC!" and secondly, I admire his passion that shines though the text he writes. Will my desire to stick to the formatting of logic work in this case, or will his charm win over the audience in the end? I have no idea, but I expect to learn as we fling ideas at each other, and of course to you the reader for your analyze, thoughts, and feelings on this issue.

The format will be opening statements and augments such as the opening statement have just made above and augment I will be making below - after the opening augment is presented the other side will be able to rebuttal, refute, question, comment and so on in regards to the opening as they see fit, then the opponent will have a chance to rebuttal that rebuttal and so on - we have agreed that 2-3 rebuttal should be more then enough, if not we will pm and work out if we want more - less is possible, we shall see.

At the end a final closing remark will be made, and we have agreed that I will be going first. It should be noted that Ted himself has said he is not a technical debater so I will not be holding him to the rigorous standards I would otherwise, this will be a more fluid debate then I'm used to on my part, although I will be sticking to what I know, I just wanted others to know that I do not intend to point out logical fallacy's when or if they occur on Ted's part. Rather, I will sharpen points I make in other ways, or so is my hope.

This welcome aside let me begin my opening debate!
=============================================


In today's debate we are asking this question: "Is faith nothing more then magic?"

I am taking the position that yes, Faith is equal to Magic, if not by definition of words itself, then by the essence these words - the ideas behind them, the application logic and science to both. I hope to show in the end, that faith is nothing more then magic as far as useable results produced.

To do this, we must look at the words and definitions words, and see if any agreement can be made on the words and how they are used.
Let us first take a look at "Faith" defined by dictionaries
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith )
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.
( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith )
Depending on the religion, faith is belief in a god or gods or in the doctrines or teachings of the religion. Informal usage of faith can be quite broad, including trust or belief without proof,[1] and "faith" is often used as a substitute for "hope", "trust" or "belief". Some[who?] critics of faith have argued that faith is opposed to reason. In contrast, some[who?] advocates of faith argue that the proper domain of faith concerns questions which cannot be settled by evidence. This is exemplified by attitudes about the future, which (by definition) has not yet occurred.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith )
1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially: a system of religious beliefs
( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith )

I could go on, and will if required I think we can place faith as a being a thing that one can not prove objectively verify with out any test. Even when, as Wikipedia suggests utter a statement about the future we do so without any idea that it will occur. "The sun will come up tomorrow." and we should add "As far as we know, if tomorrow earth is still rotation the same or similar speed to what it is now and the orbit has not changed by tomorrow then there will be sun..." of course, we typically not over analyze such statements perhaps we should.

None the less, I think we can, or should agree that faith is equal to having a trust and or belief in (X) whatever that may be without any empirical evidence and/or repeatable test. If my opponent wishes to object to this point he must show where and/or when faith has been used to mean other thing then my dictionary's suggests is being used for.


Let us now look at the word "magic" as defined by the same dictionary reference's above.
1. the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.
2. the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature. Compare contagious magic, imitative magic, sympathetic magic.
3. the use of this art: Magic, it was believed, could drive illness from the body.
4. the effects produced: the magic of recovery.
5. power or influence exerted through this art: a wizard of great magic.
( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/magic )
1. The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.
2. a. The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or control events in nature.
b. The charms, spells, and rituals so used.
3. The exercise of sleight of hand or conjuring for entertainment.
4. A mysterious quality of enchantment: "For me the names of those men breathed the magic of
adj.

1. Of, relating to, or invoking the supernatural: "stubborn unlaid ghost/That breaks his magic chains at curfew time" (John Milton).

2. Possessing distinctive qualities that produce unaccountable or baffling effects.
( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/magic )
Magic (illusion), the art of appearing to perform supernatural feats using sleight of hand, escapology, or other methods Magic (paranormal), the use of paranormal methods to manipulate natural forces, such as witchcraft Ceremonial magic, a ritual system of esoteric spiritual development using occult techniques

Magick, a specific system of ritual magic deriving from the religious philosophy of Thelema

Magic and religion, which may involve the intercession of deities or other spirits, such as prayer
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic )
1 a: the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces
b: magic rites or incantations

2 a: an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source
b: something that seems to cast a spell : enchantment

3 : the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand
( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/magic )

So, what can be learned from the word magic? It seems that it is clearly an act of trickery performed by humans, illusion, slight of hand, or something mystical, doing the impossible without any scientific reasoning or logic behind it, wiki seems unhelpful unless we pick further what we mean by magic, but I think we can safely say that magic falls into two categories:

1: Trickery done by humans (slight of hand and other misdirection) for either entertainment or deliberate deception.

2: Belief that "magic" is an actual force that can be controlled and performed on demand, yet not testable by science for unspoken or unknown reasons.


It is clearly the second that I am after here, magic as in terms of a magical thing - a miracle is clearly nothing more then magical thinking. An appeal to ignorance, "How did this come here?" - answered by "A wizard did it!" clearly, magical thinking can produce such statements.

Faith, as we covered is belief without any empirical evidence and/or test, and the second idea that magic is an actual force of some sort falls into that category, no one has demonstrate that "magic" is an actual thing, in fact, all tests of it have shown slight of hand or trickery at work.

So, is faith no better then magic? It seems to me very clear this is the case, both can be employed to beg for answers to questions and disregard evidence and tests, faith can be in anything of anything or for anything, but it has no empirical evidence and no test, magic can be employed as an explanation in a similar sense.

Perhaps even, one could equate God itself with Magic. Neither can be tested, or demonstrated to exist, and both are believed in by faith.

One possible objection I can think of is that faith does not EQUAL magic, and on that I agree, the words are different description, but my thrust is to show that both are equal valid in terms of utility - they are both useless in this case, Neither produces results that are objective in nature, Neither can be observed or tested in any way shape or form. Those of faith can use subjective personal story's to justify there faith in whatever, and so can those who use magic can say that magic is proven by there subjective experience!

I am not sure how anyone would desire something to be believed in not by sight, but by faith, believing is just believing to belief - magic is similar, it works if you belief in it, if you do not question it, and faith only works if one does not question it at all.

The second objection I can think of is the changing of the word "faith" to equal to being "have trust in" as often is done in such debates where faith is used as a word, I've already said that such a definition is not warranted either by the definitions themselves or by the context here, if we are inferring that faith = trust in, then what is it one is trusting in?

If it is God, then one is begging the question, God has no empirical evidence or any repeatable test, faith in God is the same as faith in Magic, Neither can be proven, so even if one presses forward that you just have to trust in it - the object of said trust must then be shown to be real, if one can not show that, then trust is just not relevant - it would still be something that is not testable or empirical verifiable, and thus, no better then magic.

Faith and magic, are as useful as each other that is they are: useless, utterly and devoid of actual content, provable by no means at all.

Faith is nothing more then magic.

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ttruscott
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Re: Is faith nothing more then magic?

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Post by ttruscott »

So I discern these as the focal point of your definitions:
Faith:
None the less, I think we can, or should agree that faith is equal to having a trust and or belief in (X) whatever that may be without any empirical evidence and/or repeatable test.
Magic:
2: Belief that "magic" is an actual force that can be controlled and performed on demand, yet not testable by science for unspoken or unknown reasons.

It is clearly the second that I am after here, magic as in terms of a magical thing - a miracle is clearly nothing more then magical thinking. An appeal to ignorance, "How did this come here?" - answered by "A wizard did it!" clearly, magical thinking can produce such statements.
playhavock wrote:One possible objection I can think of is that faith does not EQUAL magic, and on that I agree, the words are different description, but my thrust is to show that both are equal valid in terms of utility - they are both useless in this case, Neither produces results that are objective in nature, Neither can be observed or tested in any way shape or form. Those of faith can use subjective personal story's to justify there faith in whatever, and so can those who use magic can say that magic is proven by there subjective experience! [bold is mine]
So to make sure we are on the same page here, I'll define my use of the word faith as found in scripture, and magic.

I use faith most often as a conviction based upon hope but without proof rather than belief or trust, as per:
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction / evidence of things not seen. ie unproven.

Heb 11:1 Now 1161 faith 4102 is 2076 the substance 5287 of things hoped for 1679 , the evidence 1650 of things 4229 not 3756 seen 991 .

Substance: Strong's G5287 - hypostasis
1) a setting or placing under
a) thing put under, substructure, foundation

2) that which has foundation, is firm
a) that which has actual existence

1) a substance, real being
b) the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing
c) the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution

1) confidence, firm trust, assurance

Evidence: Strong's G1650 - elegchos
1) a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested

2) conviction


Substance can refer to the actual real foundation of an object, the essential quality or nature of a person or thing or, emotionally, a confidence, firm trust, assurance of mind.

So, "faith is the substance of things hoped for" could mean:

faith is the foundation of the object hope...mmmm, not quite,
faith is the essential quality or nature of hope.....mmm, better,
faith is the confidence, firm trust, and assurance of hope....yes, I think so!

IF you have a confident, trusting, assurance of hope in something / someone, you have faith.


Now, Evidence is either a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested, or a conviction.

So, "faith is... the evidence of things not seen." could mean either:
faith is the tested proof of things not seen or
faith is the conviction (of mind) of things not seen, which meshes seamlessly with the word "substance."

Since the first definition of faith would yield, "faith is the tested proof of things unproven..." which is silly but also contradicts the bible verse "Faith is the opposite of sight." Therefore faith is the opposite of proof and I offer that the translators of the KJV did us a disservice choosing to go with "evidence" implying "proof" rather than with "conviction."

If FAITH IS THE PROOF of unseen things (as some contend) then how can those with a misplaced faith; Hindus, atheists, Jihadists to mention a few, have proof of something that is a lie? If their unseen thing does not exist but faith is the proof of it...how can the non-existing have a proof it exists? Their faith conviction will be proven to be false.

Therefore, if you have a conviction of hope of things not seen / unproven, you have faith.

Why do I reject the word "belief" in this context?
James 2:19, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." but they do not hope, they believe from proof.

Devils have proof:
Luke 4:34 "Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"

KNOW: Strong's G1492 - eid�
1) to see
a) to perceive with the eyes
b) to perceive by any of the senses
c) to perceive, notice, discern, discover
d) to see
which is opposite the unseen things, not by sight.

Jesus Himself differentiates between belief in the proven and belief in the unproven:
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.� 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!� 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.�

MAGIC:
I'll accept: "magic" is the use of words and arcane ceremonies that can control the environment from a distance, yet (so far) is unproven by science. I choose this definition because of the (supposed) demonic influence behind the ceremonies.

To support this I reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Man ... onic_Magic
The Munich Manual of Demonic Magic (CLM 849 of the Bavarian State Library, Munich) is a fifteenth century grimoire manuscript. The text, composed in Latin, is largely concerned with demonology and necromancy.
The text of the manuscript was republished in 1998 under the title Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century. Portions of the text, in English translation, are presented in Forbidden Rites as well, embedded within the author's essay on the Munich Manual in specific and grimoires in general. The book has yet to be published in translation in its entirety.

The use of faith to effect the environment:
Matthew 17:18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?� 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.� Therefore I see faith used in two different ways: as the base for our salvation and as the base for environmental change, ie mountain moving.

In the case of the faith by which we are saved from the effects of GOD's retribution for our sins, I accept only the first definition of "unproven hope" since the other would imply that our faith some how forced GOD to provide us with salvation which is contradicted by many scripture verses especially as salvation is called a "gift from GOD, freely given," not a response to the use of our faith force upon HIM:
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.� Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.�

Faith that is unproven hope has no connotation of environmental change or effect: GOD rewards those who believe HE exists and that He rewards those who seek HIM, Hebrews 11:6.

Now Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is seen as a power also and, as power, usually a demonic power.

My objection to science being the judge of faith or magic:
Let us presume that Jesus did a miracle yesterday morning, as defined by religious faith. What has science got to say about it? That it happened? The audience will tell us that. How it was done? Jesus will tell us that. Science is the study of how physical properties and events are proven by replication of effects; faith and magic are not inside that area of study any more than music is the study of the measurement of elephants. I contend that the scientist abuses his prerogative to lay claim over supernatural phenomena since
1. he has never nor can ever prove anything about spiritual things at all and
2. that this lack of proof does not mean lack of reality to spiritual things but a lack in the tools science uses; the mental discernment and evaluation of physical things. The scientist has not yet proven his tools are workable for the discernment of spiritual things.
1 Corinthians 2:15 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. How can a blind person prove the sighted cannot see?

[ASIDE: In Matt 17:18-20 Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is also a power and (sometimes) a demonic power. There seems to be a possibility that power to effect the world at a distance is somewhat readily available to spiritual beings as many religions attest.

If so I might consider that if power is freely available to anyone, the difference must be in who is wielding the power: mountain moving by a saint is faith but by a demon is magic. I do shrug though because this is somewhat uncharted territory for me.]

Peace, Ted
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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Post #3

Post by playhavock »

ttruscott wrote: So I discern these as the focal point of your definitions:

Faith:
None the less, I think we can, or should agree that faith is equal to having a trust and or belief in (X) whatever that may be without any empirical evidence and/or repeatable test.
Magic:
2: Belief that "magic" is an actual force that can be controlled and performed on demand, yet not testable by science for unspoken or unknown reasons.
It is clearly the second that I am after here, magic as in terms of a magical thing - a miracle is clearly nothing more than magical thinking. An appeal to ignorance, "How did this come here?" - answered by "A wizard did it!" clearly, magical thinking can produce such statements.

One possible objection I can think of is that faith does not EQUAL magic, and on that I agree, the words are different description, but my thrust is to show that both are equal valid in terms of utility - they are both useless in this case, Neither produces results that are objective in nature, Neither can be observed or tested in any way shape or form. Those of faith can use subjective personal story's to justify their faith in whatever, and so can those who use magic can say that magic is proven by their subjective experience!
Yes, those are my focal points.
So to make sure we are on the same page here, I'll define my use of the word faith as found in scripture, and magic.
The issue I have with using any holy books as a source for any words is twofold.
First, if I was to do the same thing, IE: use a word as defined by a scripture of say a Hindu writing, we would never be able to agree that the definition of (X) word is correct, more so I have yet to prove that the Hindu writings are a valid source.
Secondly, the words from scriptures are themselves debated, there is no clear cut consensus on meanings of words, even the word faith by Christians, and when looking at definitions, we must appeal to the consensus of a people.

Since Christians cannot agree what the word(s) mean, we can never be sure your idea of the words definition is correct.
I use faith most often as a conviction based upon hope but without proof rather than belief or trust,
Serenely, you are free to use the word in any way you desire, but we here are hammering out what the word is, not how we use it.

You here insert the idea that "faith" (F) is based upon "hope" (H) without proof. Hope here seems to be irreverent. If one has no proof they can hope anything, granted, but may or may not be disappointed by the results, you are still basing the (F) on no empirical evidence, adding hope into the mix does nothing to change the definition as I outlined previously.
as per:
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction / evidence of things not seen. i.e. unproven.
Heb. 11:1 Now 1161 faith 4102 is 2076 the substance 5287 of things hoped for 1679 , the evidence 1650 of things 4229 not 3756 seen 991 .
Again, I raise my objection that scripture from any religion cannot be utilized for a reliable source of word definition since not even Christians will agree upon what that verse means.
Substance: Strong's G5287 - hypostasis
1) a setting or placing under
a) thing put under, substructure, foundation

2) that which has foundation, is firm
a) that which has actual existence

1) a substance, real being
b) the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing
c) the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution

1) confidence, firm trust, assurance

Evidence: Strong's G1650 - elegchos
1) a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested

2) conviction

Substance can refer to the actual real foundation of an object, the essential quality or nature of a person or thing or, emotionally, a confidence, firm trust, assurance of mind.
I have no issue with these definitions.
So, "faith is the substance of things hoped for" could mean:
faith is the foundation of the object hope...mmmm, not quite,
How do you know that is not what it means?
faith is the essential quality or nature of hope.....mmm, better,
Seems based upon subjective feeling rather than objective data.
faith is the confidence, firm trust, and assurance of hope....yes, I think so!
Here you are equaling faith to hope. Again, I'm not sure this resolves the issue at all, as the hope itself has no empirical evidence and/or repeatable test to make sure that it will come out the desired result. "I hope that tomorrow will be better" I serenely can have hope for such a thing, but it may, or may not come to pass. If you are merely saying that faith leads one to "assurance" that there will be hope - then I think we have run into a dead end, there can always be "hope" with, or without faith, we can be "assured" that hope will be there if we have it, or desire it. So this seems like a very complex way to say "you can hope if you hope"

IF you have a confident, trusting, assurance of hope in something / someone, you have faith.
"Assurance of hope" What does this mean?

If hope is some nebulous feeling of desire for (X) outcome? Why say "faith" at all if one has evidence?

If hope is meant to say that (X) WILL happen, or you have good reason to think (X) will happen then we do not require the word faith or hope at all. We can simply say "I have (Y) reason(s) that (X) will happen." but doing so would require empirical evidence and/or a repeatable test that you say one does not have when one has faith, as faith per your own definition equals hope. And if you have assurance of hope, then you have faith. IF Faith = Hope then you are just saying "Hope that you have assurance of hope in something/someone you have hope." What a strange logical tract to take.

I think the adding of words here does not give us a clear cut definition of WHAT faith IS. What is it? Is it hope? Then we must next define hope, and where will you take that definition from? The same source - the Christian Scriptures that again, can be objected two on at least two grounds. I think that this redefining of faith is in error, and even if we try to accept the definition given, and we have no reason to, we still cannot understand the definition given, thus it becomes a useless word.

Now, Evidence is either a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested, or a conviction.
Empirical evidence is proof. You require no conviction for it. By omitting the "empirical part" Ted can get away with a bit of word play here, I'll let the reader decide if this is justified or not.
So, "faith is... the evidence of things not seen." could mean either:
faith is the tested proof of things not seen or
faith is the conviction (of mind) of things not seen, which meshes seamlessly with the word "substance."
It could mean any number of things at this point! Once one leaves behind dictionary’s in favor of mystical (christen scripture in this case) writings, one can make words mean anything they want it seems.
Since the first definition of faith would yield, "faith is the tested proof of things unproven..." which is silly but also contradicts the bible verse "Faith is the opposite of sight." Therefore faith is the opposite of proof and I offer that the translators of the KJV did us a disservice choosing to go with "evidence" implying "proof" rather than with "conviction."
I'm happy to see a christen admit that there are contradictions in the bible :D But other than that, I'm not sure where this is going of yet!
If FAITH IS THE PROOF of unseen things (as some contend) then how can those with a misplaced faith; Hindus, atheists, Jihadists to mention a few, have proof of something that is a lie? If their unseen thing does not exist but faith is the proof of it...how can the non-existing have a proof it exists? Their faith conviction will be proven to be false.
Intriguing, if that is the case then by the definition you gave earlier, faith in unseen things, whatever that is the proof that it is true would make all faiths equally valid. I would also like to point out that atheists have no faith that I am aware of.
Therefore, if you have a conviction of hope of things not seen / unproven, you have faith.
I hope this is the final definition! I do like that Ted has put his mind to thinking out what Faith means to him in the contest of his holy book, I see no reason to agree with his view on what Faith equals as yet, but I must admire that he is thinking, I see that as a good thing.
Why do I reject the word "belief" in this context?
James 2:19, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." but they do not hope, they believe from proof.
Devils have proof:
Luke 4:34 "Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"
KNOW: Strong's G1492 - eid�
1) to see
a) to perceive with the eyes
b) to perceive by any of the senses
c) to perceive, notice, discern, discover
d) to see
which is opposite the unseen things, not by sight.
Intriguing bit of logic here, I might be wrong, but it seems that Ted is saying that to have empirical evidence would destroy the whole point of faith, the "devils" have proof, thus require no faith.
Jesus Himself differentiates between belief in the proven and belief in the unproven:
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.� 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!� 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.�
Does this put Thomas into the same category of devils? Is Tomas no longer eligible for salvation because he had the proof rather than faith? Having asked this, does that mean anyone who saw Jesus perform any miracles and then believed were no longer eligible for salvation?
MAGIC:
I'll accept: "magic" is the use of words and arcane ceremonies that can control the environment from a distance, yet (so far) is unproven by science. I choose this definition because of the (supposed) demonic influence behind the ceremonies.
But, by your previous logical application you used the holy scriptures to define "faith" why would you not try to do so in this case? Yes, I would have objected to this, but it would have shown the audience a consistent application of the same standard you used before.
However, I cannot object to you utilizing a secular definition of magic here, so I will accept this.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Man ... onic_Magic )
The Munich Manual of Demonic Magic (CLM 849 of the Bavarian State Library, Munich) is a fifteenth century grimoire manuscript. The text, composed in Latin, is largely concerned with demonology and necromancy.
The text of the manuscript was republished in 1998 under the title Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century. Portions of the text, in English translation, are presented in Forbidden Rites as well, embedded within the author's essay on the Munich Manual in specific and grimoires in general. The book has yet to be published in translation in its entirety.
The use of faith to effect the environment:
Matthew 17:18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?� 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.� Therefore I see faith used in two different ways: as the base for our salvation and as the base for environmental change, i.e. mountain moving.
If we take here the environmental idea that faith can (somehow) change the given environment (although as yet no Christian has ever done this) and we take magic to be a similar application that could, in theory, change the environment - how are the two deferent?
In the case of the faith by which we are saved from the effects of GOD's retribution for our sins, I accept only the first definition of "unproven hope" since the other would imply that our faith somehow forced GOD to provide us with salvation which is contradicted by many scripture verses especially as salvation is called a "gift from GOD, freely given," not a response to the use of our faith force upon HIM:
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.� Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.�
A side point being made here, as such I have nothing to say on this matter, other than to again question how Ted knows his views of the scriptures are the correct ones.
Faith that is unproven hope has no connotation of environmental change or effect: GOD rewards those who believe HE exists and that He rewards those who seek HIM, Hebrews 11:6.
What would the reward be? If the reward itself is observable then one has empirical evidence, thus destroying faith. Once someone has crossed the threshold of death into eternal life, then one has apple evidence thus destroying faith utterly, what scripture references would show that faith is no longer required once one enters the eternal realm?
Now Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is seen as a power also and, as power, usually a demonic power.
"Usually" when is it used as a non-demonic power? Is there any way to know when something is magic, and when something is a miracle event?
My objection to science being the judge of faith or magic:
Let us presume that Jesus did a miracle yesterday morning, as defined by religious faith. What has science got to say about it? That it happened? The audience will tell us that. How it was done? Jesus will tell us that.
Why would we believe him? How do we know it was not magic? How can we know the source of the power? Science, could have him do it again, so we could study it, of course if it is the past we could not be sure of it, perhaps only that it happened, as you said, but we would know nothing else about it. All we have is Jesus's word that said power came from God. How do we know Jesus is not lying? A miracle, even if it does occur, cannot prove that Jesus is being honest. What better trickery then for the real devil to make a false religion to throw everyone off track from the real religion, whatever it might be.
Science is the study of how physical properties and events are proven by replication of effects; faith and magic are not inside that area of study any more than music is the study of the measurement of elephants.
I agree.
We cannot use science to study faith or magic, apparently, so our question at hand would seem to be how we can know what one is what, how useful either is, or in my augment unusable since I do not see either having a result producible.
I contend that the scientist abuses his prerogative to lay claim over supernatural phenomena since
1. he has never nor can ever prove anything about spiritual things at all and
2. that this lack of proof does not mean lack of reality to spiritual things but a lack in the tools science uses; the mental discernment and evaluation of physical things. The scientist has not yet proven his tools are workable for the discernment of spiritual things.
Indeed, science is constrained by what ability’s we have now, and we can only observe what is observable, the claim that supernatualistic realms exist has zero proof to offer at all. We are told it exists, and told we cannot observe it empirically, test it at all, that we can only believe that it is so. The same is true of magical ideas and realms.
1 Corinthians 2:15 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. How can a blind person prove the sighted cannot see?
How can a blind person prove the sighted cannot see - let me answer this question, first I must address again the use of scripture being unjustified as yet, we do not know what the words mean, or that Ted's idea of how they are meant to be used is correct. Now, to the question, the blind person cannot prove that sighted cannot see because then the sighted people would be blind. Thus, the question is nonsensical, however, I did want to answer it by explaining that it is not a properly formatted question.
[ASIDE: In Matt 17:18-20 Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is also a power and (sometimes) a demonic power. There seems to be a possibility that power to effect the world at a distance is somewhat readily available to spiritual beings as many religions attest.
If so I might consider that if power is freely available to anyone, the difference must be in who is wielding the power: mountain moving by a saint is faith but by a demon is magic. I do shrug though because this is somewhat uncharted territory for me.
And how do we tell the difference between a saint and a demon? If both can move the mountain, we can observe this to be true. If we are not allowed via science to look at the "how" or the power behind this ability, due to its supernatural nature, then other than the "word" of the person doing the moving of said mountain, how can we know anything about the source of said power, we cannot decide what one is faith, and what one is magic.

In Ted's various claims of what Faith is, according to his view on what he deems Holy Scriptures we see two version of the word; one being something that leads one to have an assurance of hope, and the other granting an ability to move mountains.

I am not sure what "assurance of hope" means or how adding these words helps us to define what faith the word itself means.

The other definition of faith serenely appears to be akin to magic, that is, it can purportedly move a mountain in our example, and so can apparently faith. We have of course, never observed this to happen, as we would then have empirical evidence of some kind to look at. But, even if we had the mountain move, since by Ted's own admission science cannot look at magic and/or faith we could never be sure what the source was that moved the mountain at all.

Of course, all tests we have tried to do on magical claims and faith claims have failed to produce results, we get the same results we would expect from chance and chance alone, but, as Ted says, we just cannot look at faith or magic with science. And what does that leave us with? Two claims that we can never observe, test, understand, or be sure of. We have two things that may or may not be able to move mountains, two unverified and unverifiable claims that offer no proof of there working at all.

If Ted dismisses his definition of faith then this augment fails, as it is built upon Ted's own idea of what faith is, however then we are left with no augment from his side if we do that, and my original augment would by default, win.

So, unless Ted can produce a new definition of faith not utilizing scriptures as reference to show how it is any better and/or different then magic I think we must conclude from both his own definitions and logic and my opening augment, that faith and magic are equal in the sense that I have augured, mainly: faith is nothing more than magic as far as useable results produced.

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Post #4

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I can say right now that I know I'm going to mess up all these quotes and how they relate to each other...:(

All quotes will be from post #3: unless specified...
playhavock wrote: The isssue with Holy books:

Since Christians cannot agree what the word(s) mean, we can never be sure your idea of the words definition is correct.
We communicate pretty well here for having different epistemological approaches. Your words may be defined anyway you want by whomever you accept as an authority--I think we can meet in the middle.
Serenely, you are free to use the word in any way you desire, but we here are hammering out what the word is, not how we use it.
The broad coverage of the meaning of most words forces us to focus on the way we will be using them here, very personal but also explainable. I don't know any other way to proceed since my definitions were taught to me by the Bible and are the only ones I use. I'll proceed as if this were acceptable...
You here insert the idea that "faith" (F) is based upon "hope" (H) without proof. Hope here seems to be irreverent. If one has no proof they can hope anything, granted, but may or may not be disappointed by the results, you are still basing the (F) on no empirical evidence, adding hope into the mix does nothing to change the definition as I outlined previously.
If you have a hope, the conviction that your hope will be realised though as yet unproven, is the meaning of the word FAITH.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction / evidence of things not seen. ie unproven.

To say it is based upon hope is just as accurate as to say it is the base of hope. Everything that is in your mind that bolsters your hope all toegether is called faith.

This does beg the question "hope in what," doesn't it? Religious faith, the only faith I have that is worth arguing about, supports hope...

I personally think that in our pre-earth existence, without any proof HE was GOD, we were taught by GOD that HE was our creator who had created us for the purpose to learn to be able to love and worship truly and to be holy.

I think HE pretty well laid out all existence / reality for those who accepted HIM and those who did not, ie promises and warnings.

At that time the evidence was the trinity who looked the same as the rest of us but who had these strange ideas about being our creator with a plan for our existence AND the hope that we might get that which was promised (eternal life, election to heaven) and the hope to avoid the warnings, (becoming demonic, hell).

In sum:

Three ordinary people claimed to be one GOD, our creator, and that if we accepted them we'd be chosen to have eternal life with them in heaven but if we rejected them we'd have eternal death in hell.

None of this was proven to us.

In hope of getting the promise IF it did prove out that they were GOD, and to avoid hell, some chose to have faith in them as GOD, and to have faith in these promises and so bowed in acceptance.

[For Christians who are following this:
Titus 1:2...a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
]

Now, here on earth things are a little bit different. The evidence we get to peruse is a bit stronger. We have the Bible itself, we have the anecdotal experience of Christians and we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

All of these become evidence when our hearts/spirits respond to them with hope.

If you get no hope from them, you get no faith. Thus faith not only gathers those of like faith together but it separates those of a differnt faith cleanly and clearly. These things Christians use as evidence do not provide proof, only hope they will get you a better (especially longer) life.

[Some verses seem to describe both our pre-earth and earthly experiences with GOD:

1 John 5:9 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life;]
Here you are equaling faith to hope.
No sir, but hope is part of faith. Cat skin is not the cat but it is a part of the cat that is recongnizable without the cat in it. Faith with no hope isbordinary belief like a cat with no skin is all cat, but not all of the cat.

I believe the sun will come up tomorrow (even though I know that is a scientific mis-nomer) because I have experienced it enough times I no longer hope for it, I just accept it. This is ordinary belief but it is not religious belief which requires the element of hope, ie it is not based on proof but awaits proof to be born out.

If this definition of Christian hope comes as a surprise, fine...I'm in no hurry, I hope it helps you understand future arguments.
"Assurance of hope" What does this mean?

If hope is some nebulous feeling of desire for (X) outcome? Why say "faith" at all if one has evidence?
"Assurance of hope" means "confidence in the evidence that the hope will be fulfilled."

As for nebulous, now you tease me, pretending not to have experienced both nebulous and assured hope. On a first date your hope for having a good time might be nebulous, ie cover a lot of different possibilities, but after a month, your hope has become assurance and confident because the evidence she has given is getting too strong to not understand, capich?
Empirical evidence is proof. You require no conviction for it. By omitting the "empirical part" Ted can get away with a bit of word play here, I'll let the reader decide if this is justified or not.
I accept your definition but do not accede the point because my point, made in my clumsy way so as to become vauge, is that the word interpreted as faith in Bible lexicons has the two meanings, evidence and conviction, and I was alluding to why I chose conviction because faith has no evidence of an empirical nature.

I know many Christians use this verse to say their faith is the empirical proof of the truth of Christianity but since it is not the kind of empirical proof that everyone who sees it must accept it as proof, I do not use it that way. Therefore I use faith as conviction because conviction can be without proof.
It could mean any number of things at this point! Once one leaves behind dictionary’s in favor of mystical (christen scripture in this case) writings, one can make words mean anything they want it seems.
That my resources define faith this way and your don't means only your resources are deficient being secular without advancing far enough into religious realms.
I'm happy to see a christen admit that there are contradictions in the bible Very Happy But other than that, I'm not sure where this is going of yet!
Hmm, the first low blow - you know the contradiction, if it is worthy of the name, is in the interpretation, not the scripture.
Intriguing, if that is the case then by the definition you gave earlier, faith in unseen things, whatever that is the proof that it is true would make all faiths equally valid. I would also like to point out that atheists have no faith that I am aware of.
I agree except since the (supposed) fact that GOD does not exist has not been proven, the belief by an atheist that there is no GOD, based upon the evidence they can see is a faith based decision: conviction without proof and probably a large element of hope also that they won't face the judgment.
Intriguing bit of logic here, I might be wrong, but it seems that Ted is saying that to have empirical evidence would destroy the whole point of faith, the "devils" have proof, thus require no faith.
Faith summed up as everything that gives you hope is ended like a fist is ended when it opens into a hand, Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has, for what has been proven?
Does this put Thomas into the same category of devils? Is Tomas no longer eligible for salvation because he had the proof rather than faith? Having asked this, does that mean anyone who saw Jesus perform any miracles and then believed were no longer eligible for salvation?
No, the devils belief that is not faith is not what damns them; it was the free will choice to reject GOD for eternity. I would call this a good question though because I spent some time on it myself,

This faith that saves is a free gift from GOD, it can't be earned, nor self created as a magical power that causes your salvation.
But, by your previous logical application you used the holy scriptures to define "faith" why would you not try to do so in this case? Yes, I would have objected to this, but it would have shown the audience a consistent application of the same standard you used before.
However, I cannot object to you utilizing a secular definition of magic here, so I will accept this.
Just like you feel stuck with the more exact religious definition of faith, since the bible does not define magic, I'm stuck with secular definitions. But while the Bible only mentions those who practice witchery and necromancy etc, proving they exist; they do not define how their power accrues to them or how it is used.

But here I take a break; my wife is looking at me. I'll pick this up here tomorrow.
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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Post #5

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playhavock wrote:
...
Ted wrote:
MAGIC:
I'll accept: "magic" is the use of words and arcane ceremonies that can control the environment from a distance, yet (so far) is unproven by science. I choose this definition because of the (supposed) demonic influence behind the ceremonies.
But, by your previous logical application you used the holy scriptures to define "faith" why would you not try to do so in this case? Yes, I would have objected to this, but it would have shown the audience a consistent application of the same standard you used before.
However, I cannot object to you utilizing a secular definition of magic here, so I will accept this.
Ted wrote: The use of faith to effect the environment:
Matthew 17:18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?� 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.� Therefore I see faith used in two different ways: as the base for our salvation and as the base for environmental change, i.e. mountain moving.
If we take here the environmental idea that faith can (somehow) change the given environment (although as yet no Christian has ever done this) and we take magic to be a similar application that could, in theory, change the environment - how are the two deferent?
First, Christians have done miracles but the evidence of them is not accepted...quite different form them not being done.

I am not convinced that if you refer to the raw power of each, that is, in physical terms whether one is electrial power and the other mechanical, that there is a difference but this is waaaay past my pay scale.

But the one big difference I know is that without faith you cannot please GOD, Heb, 11:6 and that magic is real for it is reproved as evil in scripture:

http://www.openbible.info/topics/magic
Exodus 22:18 "Do not allow a sorceress to live.

Leviticus 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

2 Kings 21:6 And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.


My problem here is that this hints a various ways of using magic but it does not tell us the power source or management. (I have personal ideas about this but I'll hold them in abeyance as just that, unworthy of this forum.)
Ted wrote: In the case of the faith by which we are saved from the effects of GOD's retribution for our sins, I accept only the first definition of "unproven hope" since the other would imply that our faith somehow forced GOD to provide us with salvation which is contradicted by many scripture verses especially as salvation is called a "gift from GOD, freely given," not a response to the use of our faith force upon HIM:
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.� Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.�
A side point being made here, as such I have nothing to say on this matter, other than to again question how Ted knows his views of the scriptures are the correct ones.
Is there full agreement in the world of advanced physics? Or in Math? not a bit. Have you ever heard two biologists arguing evolutionary basics - it a viscious world out there, I tell you!!!

The point is that at the top level, someone disagrees with every expert and consensus is a myth. I don't know how many scientists claim they believe by faith in their understanding of the evidence but the more honest of them do and so do I.

I have faith in my views because as yet they are the most satisfying explanation of reality that I can see, especially because it takes in an understanding of the spiritual world that I can't ignore.
Ted wrote: Faith that is unproven hope has no connotation of environmental change or effect: GOD rewards those who believe HE exists and that He rewards those who seek HIM, Hebrews 11:6.
What would the reward be? If the reward itself is observable then one has empirical evidence, thus destroying faith. Once someone has crossed the threshold of death into eternal life, then one has apple evidence thus destroying faith utterly, what scripture references would show that faith is no longer required once one enters the eternal realm?
Exactly. First we had our time of ingenuous innocence and free will, pre-earth. Then we have our time on earth as a time of faith. Then we have our time after resurrection, in the new reality. 1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end / goal of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
Ted wrote: Now in Matthew 17:18 Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is seen as a power also and, as power, usually a demonic power.
"Usually" when is it used as a non-demonic power? Is there any way to know when something is magic, and when something is a miracle event?
Thanks for pointing our my weasle word, 'ususally,' trying to be pc instead of stating my case proudly!

One of the strongest contests between magic and faith is found in the story of Moses against the pharoah's magicians who could duplicate part of HIS faith based miracles but were always bested and finally admitted defeat: Ex 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God."

There is also the great read about Elijah facing off with the Ba'als: 1 Kings 18.

Neither of these two stories tells us of the difference between the faith of HIS servants and the magic but one is hated an the other brings eternal life.

Don't forget, satan does miracles which in fact are by magic...Matthew 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. and 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-10 "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

in which I assume counterfeit miracles refers to miracles of magic not faith, not of GOD and therefore deceitful.

This deceit is the source of his power over non-believers: i John 5:19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one.
Ted wrote: My objection to science being the judge of faith or magic:
Let us presume that Jesus did a miracle yesterday morning, as defined by religious faith. What has science got to say about it? That it happened? The audience will tell us that. How it was done? Jesus will tell us that.
Why would we believe him? How do we know it was not magic? How can we know the source of the power? Science, could have him do it again, so we could study it, of course if it is the past we could not be sure of it, perhaps only that it happened, as you said, but we would know nothing else about it. All we have is Jesus's word that said power came from God. How do we know Jesus is not lying? A miracle, even if it does occur, cannot prove that Jesus is being honest. What better trickery then for the real devil to make a false religion to throw everyone off track from the real religion, whatever it might be.
Why would we believe him? You can't believe HIM without the prior calling of GOD to you to repent and be saved. All salvation and belief in Christ is the gift of GOD so there is no worry here about belief or not... <shrug>

What can I say? In the war between satan and GOD, would GOD Almighty allow the core essence of HIS work, the death of HIS son and the ressurrection to be preempted by satan? Unlikely... The best satan can do is set up a copy cat to what he knows GOD is going to do and have it in place first, which we know he has done. Then he can do the miracles that Jesus warned us about: Matthew 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. for instance, which verse seems to hint that our staying faithful in the face of satan's miracles is HIS work, not ours.
Ted wrote: Science is the study of how physical properties and events are proven by replication of effects; faith and magic are not inside that area of study any more than music is the study of the measurement of elephants.
I agree.
We cannot use science to study faith or magic, apparently, so our question at hand would seem to be how we can know what one is what, how useful either is, or in my augment unusable since I do not see either having a result producible.
If we can't study the evidence from a scientific attitude of the necessity of replication, evidence can still provide us with assurances. The evidence for the distinction between magic and faith and the understanding of whether the miracle worker is using magic or faith is found in two things: the scripture message, ie does their message equal the message found in the gospel? and it is found in the indwelling Holy Spirit promised to every believer.

To a non-believer this is foolishness, but to the believer it is saving faith.
Ted wrote: I contend that the scientist abuses his prerogative to lay claim over supernatural phenomena since
1. he has never nor can ever prove anything about spiritual things at all and
2. that this lack of proof does not mean lack of reality to spiritual things but a lack in the tools science uses; the mental discernment and evaluation of physical things. The scientist has not yet proven his tools are workable for the discernment of spiritual things.
Indeed, science is constrained by what ability’s we have now, and we can only observe what is observable, the claim that supernatualistic realms exist has zero proof to offer at all. We are told it exists, and told we cannot observe it empirically, test it at all, that we can only believe that it is so. The same is true of magical ideas and realms.


Agreed.
Ted wrote: 1 Corinthians 2:15 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. How can a blind person prove the sighted cannot see?
How can a blind person prove the sighted cannot see - let me answer this question, first I must address again the use of scripture being unjustified as yet, we do not know what the words mean, or that Ted's idea of how they are meant to be used is correct. Now, to the question, the blind person cannot prove that sighted cannot see because then the sighted people would be blind. Thus, the question is nonsensical, however, I did want to answer it by explaining that it is not a properly formatted question.
I contend that the question is not nonsensical but ony that the answer is impossible, that is: the blind person cannot prove that sighted cannot see! As an analogy that because the non-believer cannot discern spiritual things, they cannot say those spiritual things can't be seen by anyone, whether they are not there or whatever...not seeing cannot speak to what others claim to see...it is impossible for them to know, they are blind.
Numbers 12:6. "Should there be a prophet among you, in visions will I reveal Myself to him; in dreams will I speak to him; said the Lord." Dreams and visions are a foolishness to the blind but not of those who are able to discern spiritual things.

And saving faith is the ability to add this all up and to hope it is all true even though the proof is withheld for now.
Ted wrote: [ASIDE: In Matt 17:18-20 Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is also a power and (sometimes) a demonic power. There seems to be a possibility that power to effect the world at a distance is somewhat readily available to spiritual beings as many religions attest.

If so I might consider that if power is freely available to anyone, the difference must be in who is wielding the power: mountain moving by a saint is faith but by a demon is magic: Matthew 24:24 can be interprreted to mean the deceit is in the person, not the magic but perhaps that is moot. I do shrug though because this is somewhat uncharted territory for me.
And how do we tell the difference between a saint and a demon? If both can move the mountain, we can observe this to be true. If we are not allowed via science to look at the "how" or the power behind this ability, due to its supernatural nature, then other than the "word" of the person doing the moving of said mountain, how can we know anything about the source of said power, we cannot decide what one is faith, and what one is magic.
Again, I can only point you to the gospel message as the loadstone for truth, the great arbitrator of truth and to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, (which alas, can also be and is often counterfeit by satan), though we can have faith in the promises: Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
and the kicker: 1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
In Ted's various claims of what Faith is, according to his view on what he deems Holy Scriptures we see two version of the word; one being something that leads one to have an assurance of hope, and the other granting an ability to move mountains.

I am not sure what "assurance of hope" means or how adding these words helps us to define what faith the word itself means.

The other definition of faith serenely appears to be akin to magic, that is, it can purportedly move a mountain in our example, and so can apparently faith. We have of course, never observed this to happen, as we would then have empirical evidence of some kind to look at. But, even if we had the mountain move, since by Ted's own admission science cannot look at magic and/or faith we could never be sure what the source was that moved the mountain at all.
Except by our faith we will be kept free from illusion... :)
Of course, all tests we have tried to do on magical claims and faith claims have failed to produce results, we get the same results we would expect from chance and chance alone, but, as Ted says, we just cannot look at faith or magic with science. And what does that leave us with? Two claims that we can never observe, test, understand, or be sure of. We have two things that may or may not be able to move mountains, two unverified and unverifiable claims that offer no proof of there working at all.
I suggest that world wide miracles of mountain moving portent will soon (or if not soon, then some day) be seen with no doubt as to the miraculous quality of them as miracles such that only those protected by GOD will not bow before the magician as to a god.
If Ted dismisses his definition of faith then this augment fails, as it is built upon Ted's own idea of what faith is, however then we are left with no augment from his side if we do that, and my original augment would by default, win.
Hanging in there, boss, hangin' in!
So, unless Ted can produce a new definition of faith not utilizing scriptures as reference to show how it is any better and/or different then magic I think we must conclude from both his own definitions and logic and my opening augment, that faith and magic are equal in the sense that I have augured, mainly: faith is nothing more than magic as far as useable results produced.
I contend that I have shown clearly from the only reference available to us on this topic of faith vrs magic, the Bible, (no reference on the source and quality of magical demonic power being offered), that though the result of the use of devlish magic and the saint's miracles, (Rev 11:5-7) might be the same, that
- the miracles of faith can swallow up the results of magic as they are lesser and

- the reason for the miracle is to encourage faith in GOD while the reason for the magic is deceit, to lead the viewer from GOD, and

- that faith is the perogative of GODly power and while the word miracle is applied to satanic power, the connotation of faith is conspicuously absent.

Therefore, although the absence of an understanding of the nature of the power that is used by faith or in demonic magic is equal,

the rest of my study showing decisive differences between faith and magic must hold and faith and magic are not equal.

As for, faith is nothing more than magic as far as useable results produced, I contend that no useable result (by the lack of science to even test the hypothesis), do not prove equality any more than they prove inequality...nothing in this case can ony prove nothing.

Peace, Ted
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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playhavock
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Part 1 of 2 of my final rebutals...

Post #6

Post by playhavock »

We communicate pretty well here for having different epistemological approaches. Your words may be defined anyway you want by whomever you accept as an authority--I think we can meet in the middle.
I utilize sources from dictionary’s, that seem to agree with each other with only slight variance if any at all. However, when it comes to what Christian’s would accept as definition of any one word, or idea, the differences are so vast that no clear cohesion can be found, at least none that I know of.

There simply is no middle ground to meet on here, as you base your idea of what the word means upon a holy book that others to base their idea on what that word means , but get the lot of you together and no one will agree upon what the word means! Unlike our secular dictionaries, we find little if any arguments between what Webster says and what Wikipedia says, the two as I said only have slight variations and people who want to know what a word is, can look it up with reasonable assurance that they are getting the word's meaning.

Now, in everyday use , we are indeed free to do whatever we so deem fit or unfit with words, as writers we can play with words even if such play renders the word meaningless, but, as a logically minded person, I am forced to point out when the word has become meaningless and thus reject the word, pointing out that how you use it is up for grabs, serenely, but what does it mean is what is at the core here.
Now, for Ted the word "faith" is being defined, by Ted.

Very well, even if we all accepted Ted's version of faith, as I allow in my previous rebuttal, we still are left with two versions of faith, one of them being almost identical to magic! The other being, perhaps the one that Ted thinks of when he states that faith is not magic.

However, what this debate is about is not what Ted thinks of faith when he utters it, but what the word itself is. When defining words we must have some consensus of humans who agree that (X) word means (Y) and in the case of Christen adherents, scholars, historians, theologians I simply do not know of any consensus of what this word (faith) means. Ted has not pulled resources to show me, or the readers this. We are left with what Ted thinks the word is due to his teaching, although this gives us insight into his mind, it does not forward his side of the debate.

To sharpen my point, when I defined the two words I used three sources for the words, sources that are in consciences with each other, then after doing so I argued for what definition would be utilized. Ted has only shown us quotes from a Holy Book and reflected upon what he thinks the words mean.
The broad coverage of the meaning of most words forces us to focus on the way we will be using them here, very personal but also explainable. I don't know any other way to proceed since my definitions were taught to me by the Bible and are the only ones I use. I'll proceed as if this were acceptable...
Here we get to a side issue, but one worth exploring. How does Ted (and forgive me for speaking to you Ted in third person) know that the teachings themselves are correct?

Again, pointing to the lack of cohesive agreement even within Christianity itself, how can one be sure that what they are taught is anywhere near to the actual truth? However... although these questions are something I hope that readers and Ted himself will ponder, I want to say that he need not address them at all since they would be a tangent to the debate at hand, perhaps this side issue can better be explored at a later time.

Ted
If you have a hope, the conviction that your hope will be realized though as yet unproven, is the meaning of the word FAITH.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction / evidence of things not seen. i.e. unproven.
To say it is based upon hope is just as accurate as to say it is the base of hope. Everything that is in your mind that bolsters your hope all together is called faith.
This does beg the question "hope in what," doesn't it? Religious faith, the only faith I have that is worth arguing about, supports hope...
I personally think that in our pre-earth existence, without any proof HE was GOD, we were taught by GOD that HE was our creator who had created us for the purpose to learn to be able to love and worship truly and to be holy.
I think HE pretty well laid out all existence / reality for those who accepted HIM and those who did not, i.e. promises and warnings.
At that time the evidence was the trinity who looked the same as the rest of us but who had these strange ideas about being our creator with a plan for our existence AND the hope that we might get that which was promised (eternal life, election to heaven) and the hope to avoid the warnings, (becoming demonic, hell).
I'm not sure if any of this helps me, or our readers understand what faith IS any better.

My issue again here is I have no way to affirm that what you are saying is something that is agreed upon. There are Christens who do not believe in the Trinity, pre-existence, hell, or even that Jesus is God.

The lack of cohesive agreement on many issues is one that I must point out. As a former Christen they were one of the many issues that lead me to ask "How do I know anything I believe (about this faith) is true?"

Here is not an issue of how Ted defines faith - or how you think it should be defined, because both of those are subjective things, nor is it an issue of how you were taught to believe that faith should be defined, for that is an issue of education that we must then question the person who educated this, how does the teacher know these things are true, what degree do they have in theology, who else agrees, and so on. Religion, however, does not have the rigors of normalized education, thus we might never be able to ask such critical questions. No, the question here is if faith is equal to magic as I have outlined. Because we are defining the word "faith" - and I have zero objection to doing so, we must address the issue of how you know the word is what you say it is.

Ted
In sum:
Three ordinary people claimed to be one GOD, our creator, and that if we accepted them we'd be chosen to have eternal life with them in heaven but if we rejected them we'd have eternal death in hell.
None of this was proven to us.
In hope of getting the promise IF it did prove out that they were GOD, and to avoid hell, some chose to have faith in them as GOD, and to have faith in these promises and so bowed in acceptance.
For Christians who are following this:
Titus 1:2...a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,


I can also claim to be God and offer you rewards and punishment if you believe me or not. Many cult leaders have done this and made millions or wound up killing their followers and themselves. So, to me this is an issue of "how do I know they are telling the truth?" if the magic user who can by your own statements do things remarkable like moving mountains does such a trick, then tells me they are God, might I be fooled into believing such a thing if I do not or cannot investigate there word?

Moreover, the idea that God does not lie is simply asserted by the writings themselves, it is not yet proven, how do we know it does not lie? We might assume it does not, but if it seems to at any point not be honest with us, can we really be accused of thinking it did lie to us?

However, I'm not sure how this resolves our question at hand, so I shall set these issues, sadly, aside as well, and again say that Ted may feel free to not address them at all.

Ted
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.]
I could take this scripture to mean any number of things. Analyzing it I could be accused of the very thing that I am objecting to, mainly, how can anyone know that what I view these words to be is the correct way. Often skeptics who analyze scripture are accused of "taking it out of context" or not understanding it in some other way. What we fail to see from the side who promotes these words is any agreement on what the words mean, as such, whenever we skeptics DO analyze the words we could only do so based on the English meaning of the words, rather than interpretive ideas one might have.

I say this to again sharpen my previous point where I objected to use of a Holy Book for reference to the word faith.

Ted
Now, here on earth things are a little bit different. The evidence we get to peruse is a bit stronger. We have the Bible itself, we have the anecdotal experience of Christians and we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Having a holy book is not unique, many other religions also have that. Having anecdotal tails also is not unique, many other religions have that as well. Having an "indwelling of Holy Spirit" is subjective and other religions can make similar claims about their deity’s as well. Who is right? How can one know? How can we decide who has faith or who has magic? Both the Muslim and Christian have "faith" but perhaps Ted's version of "faith" makes the Muslim have "magic" I'm not sure, but who is right? We cannot possibly know, objectively speaking.

The issue here is apparent to me, but I feel compelled to outline it so that readers and I hope Ted do not miss it.

Faith, as defined by my sources is something that cannot be looked at by science, it cannot be tested, cannot be analyzed.

Faith, as defined by Ted is a hope of assurance and/or something that allows one to move mountains.

However, even Ted's definition cannot itself be looked at by science, cannot be tested, cannot be observed.

Most religions claim extraordinary things be it about God, the afterlife, one’s personal life, how things work, and so on. They all lack any objective data, no proof that they are true. They all lie beyond our reach of analysis objectively, all must be personally experienced, they must be believed to be true, they can never be KNOWN to be true, not objectively, only subjectively. Magic too works similar, in essence - for it is also beyond the scope of science to observe, test, and so on. Those who perform or claim to perform magic (or magicz) claim to do or have done wondrous things, and claim to have wonderful experiences.

We have nothing to go on here. Nothing that we can use to decide what one is speaking the truth, if anyone is indeed doing so at all. If someone moves a mountain, and claims it is faith, we have zero way to analyze this. When one does the same and claims it is magic we have zero way to analyze this. All religion claims things that we cannot analyze. Again and again, we cannot know.

What we see is self-confirmed bias towards one particular religion that has no more proof of its claims than any other. How is that any different than magic? This is what Ted has yet to demonstrate to us. Even using his own self-made definitions!

Ted
All of these become evidence when our hearts/spirits respond to them with hope.
If you get no hope from them, you get no faith. Thus faith not only gathers those of like faith together but it separates those of a different faith cleanly and clearly. These things Christians use as evidence do not provide proof, only hope they will get you a better (especially longer) life.
I'm sure again, that other religions can also get hope. I'm sure that those with magical thinking can also say that they too get hope from using or practicing magic. Or they could at the very least CLAIM to have hope. Since we cannot peek into their head we could never know.

Ted
Some verses seem to describe both our pre-earth and earthly experiences with GOD:
1 John 5:9 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life;]
I just do not see how this is relevant at all to the topic at hand.

Ted
No sir, but hope is part of faith. Cat skin is not the cat but it is a part of the cat that is recognizable without the cat in it. Faith with no hope is ordinary belief like a cat with no skin is all cat, but not all of the cat.
So faith is hope's "skin"... I'm still not sure how this resolves your side of the augment.

Ted
I believe the sun will come up tomorrow (even though I know that is a scientific misnomer) because I have experienced it enough times I no longer hope for it, I just accept it. This is ordinary belief but it is not religious belief which requires the element of hope, i.e. it is not based on proof but awaits proof to be born out.
I see again some word play interchange going on here, Ted is trying to make faith (now hope) equate to having some evidence for it. However, by his own admission, God never bothers and has not proven anything it said. So how do the two compare at all?

Ted
If this definition of Christian hope comes as a surprise, fine...I'm in no hurry, I hope it helps you understand future arguments.
Setting aside the augment at hand, yes I do understand your views better Ted, and am glad to understand you better via analyzing and reading.

Typically in a debate one would expect the opponent to get and use resources, such as Christen dictionary’s, web pages of theologian’s, commentary’s made in the Bible itself, biblical scholars and so on, but we did agree to be less formalized, so, perhaps I can allow this matter to rest, Ted's definition can be tentatively agreed to on no foundation at all. Doing so does nothing to negate my previous augment, as I showed, even if we allow Ted's definition of faith to stand, we still see no reason to think it is any different than magic was as I previously outlined.

Ted
As for nebulous, now you tease me, pretending not to have experienced both nebulous and assured hope.
I am not teasing anyone here. We must always place emotion outside the realm of debate.

Ted
On a first date your hope for having a good time might be nebulous, i.e. cover a lot of different possibilities, but after a month, your hope has become assurance and confident because the evidence she has given is getting too strong to not understand, caliche?
Ah. This is a much clearly analogy, and yes, I do understand your thrust now. Let me quote myself here:

playhavock
If hope is some nebulous feeling of desire for (X) outcome? Why say "faith" at all if one has evidence?
Here, I am asking if faith that you are saying is the "skin" to use your previous analogy of hope is here, the nebulous feeling one has is based upon said desire. Not fact. Not experience. If one has evidence, one no longer requires hope and/or faith. After the month of dating I would see no reason to have hope/faith since I now have what you call assurance. However, human social interaction might not be the best examples one could use to define a word - the dating experience after the next day of that month might be that she was cheating on you the whole time. We grant the idea of innocence until guilty in all social engagements for being social would be almost impossible without doing so.

Now, I think, and I might be wrong, that typically those who use social norms as ways to analogy the augments they are giving do so because human behavior is more familiar to us all. But, this strikes an intriguing question - if God is the one we are taking out on the date, then God is behaving very human like, yet God is said to be above and beyond humans, are we making God seem more human than it is, or is it perhaps, that God seems human because we made God?

But, my question still remains, if one has evidence at all, one would no longer require the word faith and/or hope even as Ted defines them, so why use them at the point you have evidence?

----------

playhavock
Empirical evidence is proof. You require no conviction for it. By omitting the "empirical part" Ted can get away with a bit of word play here, I'll let the reader decide if this is justified or not.
Ted
I accept your definition but do not accede the point because my point, made in my clumsy way so as to become vague, is that the word interpreted as faith in Bible lexicons has the two meanings, evidence and conviction, and I was alluding to why I chose conviction because faith has no evidence of an empirical nature.
I think this makes your point better than it was made previously. Yet, still am not sure how this will help Ted win his part of this debate. We shall see.

Ted
I know many Christians use this verse to say their faith is the empirical proof of the truth of Christianity but since it is not the kind of empirical proof that everyone who sees it must accept it as proof, I do not use it that way. Therefore I use faith as conviction because conviction can be without proof.
I have no comment on this that would be relevant to this debate.

playhavock
It could mean any number of things at this point! Once one leaves behind dictionary’s in favor of mystical (christen scripture in this case) writings, one can make words mean anything they want it seems.
Ted
That my resources define faith this way and yours don't means only your resources are deficient being secular without advancing far enough into religious realms.
It is not my burden to support your side of the issue. As stated previously, you have to prove that your idea of faith is valid, again, due to the looser nature of this debate, tentatively I could and seems I should grant your idea of faith, even though there is no reason to do so.

playhavock
I'm happy to see a christen admit that there are contradictions in the bible Very Happy But other than that, I'm not sure where this is going of yet!
Ted
Hmm, the first low blow - you know the contradiction, if it is worthy of the name, is in the interpretation, not the scripture.
I serenely did not mean it as any sort of "low blow" however, I can see how you would see it this way, allow me to forthright apologies for this and implore the readers to disregard my statement. Yes, it is good in my view for Christians to accept the contractions in the Bible, but saying it as I did will not get Ted and/or others to do this, and for this, I am deeply sorry for how my words were used. I shall endeavor to be more selective. Now I shall remove my tongue from my cheek and my foot from my mouth.

--

playhavock
Intriguing, if that is the case then by the definition you gave earlier, faith in unseen things, whatever that is the proof that it is true would make all faiths equally valid. I would also like to point out that atheists have no faith that I am aware of.
Ted
I agree except since the (supposed) fact that GOD does not exist has not been proven, the belief by an atheist that there is no GOD,
This is, I'm afraid a misnomer, the word atheist does not equal belief that there is "no god" rather a lack of belief IN gods. Now, this is not a trick of word play, but I suppose many might see it as such.

I do think that one can lack a belief in (X) and not believe that (X) is not a thing that exists.

One example I might suggest here would be quarks, I do not believe that they exist, given that they cannot be proven, they can be augured for, but as yet I am not aware of a repeatable test or empirical evidence that they exist - but I do not believe that quarks DO NOT exist, merely I lack belief that they do, given that in theory, we will have a way to test for them, I will change my mind when that comes out and have reason to think they do exist.

Now, should we find that we were, in fact, in error and they do not exist and a new thing we must give name to is what is the cause of what we observe, then I would then be forced to by definition belief that quarks do not exist, at least as we understood them before - although we might name the new thing quark - still, the idea stands that one can hold that (X) is not something one beliefs in but that (X) might and/or could exist.

Ted
based upon the evidence they can see is a faith based decision: conviction without proof and probably a large element of hope also that they won't face the judgment.
What judgment? Ah- wait that would be preassumptialism there - to assume that even if there is some sort of deity that it will judge us can only come from assuming that some religion that says this is true. One could lack belief in deity’s that judge people after death only - and belief that only deity’s that do not judge people after death are real. Such a person would not be atheist as they would believe in a certain type of god(s) but there is no reason to assume that the reason that an atheist lacks belief in a deity(s) is because it is a faith based decision and or conviction without proof and or hope that they will not face judgment.

I know of atheists who never heard of the God concept from birth to adult hood - such a person has no grounds to believe in anything called God from the start, they simply were not introduced to the idea at all, and thus, had no reason to even think about it being true or false.

---

playhavock
Intriguing bit of logic here, I might be wrong, but it seems that Ted is saying that to have empirical evidence would destroy the whole point of faith, the "devils" have proof, thus require no faith.
Ted
Faith summed up as everything that gives you hope is ended like a fist is ended when it opens into a hand, Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has, for what has been proven?
So... faith would be not required if one had evidence, nor would hope be required?

playhavock
Does this put Thomas into the same category of devils? Is Tomas no longer eligible for salvation because he had the proof rather than faith? Having asked this, does that mean anyone who saw Jesus perform any miracles and then believed were no longer eligible for salvation?
Ted
No, the devils belief that is not faith is not what damns them; it was the free will choice to reject GOD for eternity. I would call this a good question though because I spent some time on it myself,
This faith that saves is a free gift from GOD, it can't be earned, nor self-created as a magical power that causes your salvation.
I've never understood why angels, who know God would ever reject God. If God is really all that good and awesome and such, why would they, who know who it is and what it is about, and in theory understand the coinsurance of rejection ever do that? Ah well, it is in the realm of theology and not the realm of logic, so I do not think I will ever understand it!

playhavock
But, by your previous logical application you used the holy scriptures to define "faith" why would you not try to do so in this case? Yes, I would have objected to this, but it would have shown the audience a consistent application of the same standard you used before.

However, I cannot object to you utilizing a secular definition of magic here, so I will accept this.
Ted
Just like you feel stuck with the more exact religious definition of faith, since the bible does not define magic, I'm stuck with secular definitions. But while the Bible only mentions those who practice witchery and necromancy etc., proving they exist; they do not define how their power accrues to them or how it is used.
I see, when the bible does not mention something, one must turn to secular sources for that something. That indeed can justify (at least in our less formal augment here) the reason for not again using the Bible as a source of definition of words and/or ideas.

Ted
But here I take a break; my wife is looking at me. I'll pick this up here tomorrow.
Those looks are far beyond the means of logic or augmentation to overcome! :D
Let me restate, there is no time limit here, or pressure. I copy the post into word to work at it myself.

Now, where are we with this augment? Let us recap.

1: I grant, tentatively, Ted's version of the Biblical idea of what Faith is, since he has not given us any resources to affirm he is correct on this matter.

2: Ted does not argue against that faith is not similar to magic as I outlined before, leaving me with a clear cut win on the augment question itself.

3: There seems to ideas and things the bible does not address, although this is obvious to us, it does not mention microwaves, for example, it does perhaps bring up the issue of using the Bible for a resource to deal with things in our modern era.

Now, I do not expect Ted to deconvert from this single debate, far from it - what I would hope is that he can learn how augments function, that proofs must be given for one side, that there are limitations to using holy books as a source guide.
I am reminded of a woman on the bus, who said she does not question the Bible, and I asked "Why not!?" and then to find it is the King James Version - anyone who does ANY research can tell you that is a horrible translation to use. If one is religious, and cares about their deity, there religion, why would that person not research all they could about it? Learn all there is to know about the bible, who wrote it, when, what time, where, history, tradition, and so on? One of the more frustrating aspects to Christianity is the lack luster approach many have to learning about their own religion. I as a former Christian now know MORE about my past religion then I ever learned when I was in it. Does this say something to you?

I do not know, perhaps it says that when one rely upon faith, one does not require research, one does not need to know more about anything, as long as one believes the right thing, they are fine...

Of course, how can they know it is right? How can they know it is real, and not magic?

Well, they cannot, but they can serenely BELIEVE that it is.

-Part 2 picks up from the second of Ted's posts-

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playhavock
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Part 2 of 2 of final rebutal, and closing remarks

Post #7

Post by playhavock »

ttruscott wrote: First, Christians have done miracles but the evidence of them is not accepted...quite different form them not being done.
When have they done them? What sorces conferm this? If a miracle is done, and the evidence is not accepted - there might be a good reasion for this. Perhaps, there is no evidence, or the "evidence" is in fact, hearsay, rumors, speculaton. To date, no one has ever done any "miracle" or anything that can not be explained by sceince, 1 millon dolars from James Randy Education center is still up for grabs. Yet no one, not one, has done anything under control. If "miracles" are being done, they are equal to magic in our ablity or inablity to test them, or even be sure they occured.

Ted
I am not convinced that if you refer to the raw power of each, that is, in physical terms whether one is electrial power and the other mechanical, that there is a difference but this is waaaay past my pay scale.
I'm not sure what pay scale has to do with anything. But if we can observe and/or test someone who can perform any super human, magical, supernatural, then we could know what the power was, unles we could not test the power itself. Yet, so far, again, no one has ever come forward with the ablitys to perform on demand, and nothing other then execuses are offered to why. If such a person did perform, we would see results we are told, by you Ted, that we can not test - so how can we know if it is "faith" or "magic" that is making such things happen? The answer would be, we can not.

I am skiping the biblical verses due to my repeated objection to Ted using them, they provide me no way to forward the augment, nor do they provide him a way to do so, we have to in essance, GRANT his premices without any reasion to do so. We shoud not, but for sake of the flow of this loose debate, I'll just alow Ted to say that magic is evil, I do not think this is revelent, but we will see.

Ted
My problem here is that this hints a various ways of using magic but it does not tell us the power source or management. (I have personal ideas about this but I'll hold them in abeyance as just that, unworthy of this forum.)
Even the bible does not tell you how to test the spirts, it simply tells you to do it, how could you hope to test them, what methods, what meens? If they can lie they will lie, if they can use magic to make something happen, they would. How would you know they are good or evil? Even telling you they are from Jesus meens nothing, for again, they could be lying to you. There simply is no way explained in the biblical sorce itself.

You have zero way to know if something is magic, or if it is not. You are not told anything even in the holy document you use to tell us that such things exist. Unlike science, were we ARE told how to observe and test things, in fact where we can test and observe things, your relgion hopes to hide behind the idea that you will simply belive that it is right, and not ask it any critical questions like "How do I test a spirt if the supernatural is untestable?" and, it seems you do not question the text.

You have plenty of your own personal ideas, your whole augment is filled with nothing BUT your own personal ideas. Mine, on the other hand, utalises logic and agreed upon terms, reaches out to ask critical questions. I am simply not convinced that faith is any better then magic, and you have yet to convince me of it, and I suspect the readers will also not be convinced.

Even if we grant your premices, and it seems we must simply for sake of augument to take place, we see revealed no way to deside the matter. Faith and magic - one is good, perhaps, one is bad, perhaps. We have no way to test it. We have no evedance of eather. We have nothing but speculation, hearsay, or belifes. They are one in the same, even using your own ideas Ted.

playhavock
A side point being made here, as such I have nothing to say on this matter, other than to again question how Ted knows his views of the scriptures are the correct ones.
Ted
Is there full agreement in the world of advanced physics?
For the most part, yes. Any point where there are disagrements we have ways to resolve them with the methods of science. You have no method to offer us to do the same for your system Ted.

Ted
Or in Math?
Yes. There are only a handful of things you could point out to be even close to disagrements there.

Ted
Have you ever heard two biologists arguing evolutionary basics.
No I have not. Even if they did or do, they can resolve there augument with data, with the methods of science, with pier review.

Ted
it a viscious world out there, I tell you!!!
It is, but that does not show how we can know what to think in regards to what Chrstans say is true in the verous demonations they have, unlike the examples you provid, there ARE ways to resolve the augments, and in fact, there ARE clear cut examples in all of the above of aggrement and terms and methods and fact.

Ted
The point is that at the top level, someone disagrees with every expert
Sure. And when we have disagrment we fall back on the evednace, not what we think, or feel to be true, but what we can know, and when we can not know, or be sure, we admit this. When a christan is unsure, they can have faith that they are right, even though they may be wrong. Someone who does magic has the same resorce to fall on, faith that there magic is real, rather then trick or illusion or personal delusion of reality.

Ted
I don't know how many scientists claim they believe by faith in their understanding of the evidence but the more honest of them do and so do I.
They have nothing to give faith in. Evedance once had, by your own ideas dismantals the nead for faith.

Ted
I have faith in my views because as yet they are the most satisfying explanation of reality that I can see,
It feels good so to you it is true. But this is not how we deside what is really real. Feelings are not relevent to objecifyed data. I might not like that my brain is wired to be dyslex, but this is fact. I could pretend it was not and be much happer, perhaps - but that is all it is, pretend. Feelings are just not relevent to the matter.

Ted
especially because it takes in an understanding of the spiritual world that I can't ignore.
Unforantly for all of those reading, no one could posbilty understand it any better now then we did before. What is a spirt? How do we identify the evil ones? What is an angel? Can they really make themselfs look human, if so how can we dectect it? What is faith? What is magic? None of these questions have been answered in any way that makes sence to the skeptic, to the outsider, to the person that is not Ted.

playhavock
What would the reward be? If the reward itself is observable then one has empirical evidence, thus destroying faith. Once someone has crossed the threshold of death into eternal life, then one has apple evidence thus destroying faith utterly, what scripture references would show that faith is no longer required once one enters the eternal realm?
Ted
Exactly. First we had our time of ingenuous innocence and free will, pre-earth.
I've never heard of "pre-earth" I'll assume that it is one more teaching that Ted holds that meny christans do not. As I never heard a word about it in my 24 years of being a christan. But... I do not think this is relevent to the debate at hand.

Ted
Then we have our time on earth as a time of faith. Then we have our time after resurrection, in the new reality. 1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end / goal of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
How does any of this help to seprate faith and magic? Worse yet, I do not think it even addresses my question that I asked. I simply do not understand what Ted's point is.

Once you are in the eternal relm do you require faith? Yes or no?
(side issue, but still, no idea what the answer is to my question)
Ted wrote: Now in Matthew 17:18 Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is seen as a power also and, as power, usually a demonic power.
playhavock
"Usually" when is it used as a non-demonic power? Is there any way to know when something is magic, and when something is a miracle event?

Ted
Thanks for pointing our my weasle word, 'ususally,' trying to be pc instead of stating my case proudly!
So, all wickans, all magic and magiz and magiks (etc) users are evil or just using something evil? I personaly do not view such people to be doing anything other then performing the belifes they have grown up with, or desided to belive in for whatever reasion. Doing an illusion trick is not evil, and magic no matter what letters you add or take from it, is nothing more then a trick, there is no magic - none at all.

Ted, can you prove that Magic is evil without preasuming the Bible is true?
Ted, can you show us that Magic is evil without quoting more Bible at us?

Ted
One of the strongest contests between magic and faith is found in the story of Moses against the pharoah's magicians who could duplicate part of HIS faith based miracles but were always bested and finally admitted defeat: Ex 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God."
There is also the great read about Elijah facing off with the Ba'als: 1 Kings 18.
Ted wins my side for me in this statment that I've bolded:

Ted
Neither of these two stories tells us of the difference between the faith of HIS servants and the magic but one is hated an the other brings eternal life.
And, so we cant tell the difernace beween the two!
Thank you Ted for winning my augment for me.

playhavock
Why would we believe him? How do we know it was not magic? How can we know the source of the power? Science, could have him do it again, so we could study it, of course if it is the past we could not be sure of it, perhaps only that it happened, as you said, but we would know nothing else about it. All we have is Jesus's word that said power came from God. How do we know Jesus is not lying? A miracle, even if it does occur, cannot prove that Jesus is being honest. What better trickery then for the real devil to make a false religion to throw everyone off track from the real religion, whatever it might be.
Ted
Why would we believe him? You can't believe HIM without the prior calling of GOD to you to repent and be saved.
You can not belive in God without God desideing you will belive in God. So God can take away (if there is such a thing) free will. However, this does not address the question, how do we know the power to change my or anyone else's brain is from God in the first place? Perhaps it is evil that has this power, how can you know the diferance if it has control of your brain?

Perhaps it is evil that is calling you to be saved, by evil, and the real God is trying to convince you that Jesus is not the real God.... who knows!

Ted
What can I say? In the war between satan and GOD, would GOD Almighty allow the core essence of HIS work, the death of HIS son and the ressurrection to be preempted by satan? Unlikely... The best satan can do is set up a copy cat to what he knows GOD is going to do and have it in place first, which we know he has done. Then he can do the miracles that Jesus warned us about: Matthew 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. for instance, which verse seems to hint that our staying faithful in the face of satan's miracles is HIS work, not ours.
Or Satan is the real God who hapened upon the scene to late. And now must convince people that Jesus is not the real God. OR some other deitys are betting on the outcome, or this or that. Its all speculation. Nothing more. It is very much like magic in fact.

Ted
If we can't study the evidence from a scientific attitude of the necessity of replication, evidence can still provide us with assurances. The evidence for the distinction between magic and faith and the understanding of whether the miracle worker is using magic or faith is found in two things: the scripture message, ie does their message equal the message found in the gospel? and it is found in the indwelling Holy Spirit promised to every believer.
So if I use magic and make it match the gospal you will have no way to afferm that it is not magic other then your "indwelling" of the "Holy Spirt" - in otherwords you will eather say I have done magic based upon your own "gut" (holy spirt) or you will say it was really faith.

However, get enough Christans together and have them write on paper what they think - and find that there is no agreement, then the question is WHO is right? Who really has the Holy Spirt? We can not know. There is no way to test such an idea. None. Zero. Christans can not agree. It is magical thinking.

Ted
To a non-believer this is foolishness, but to the believer it is saving faith.
Hey, time for me to quote the bible myself!
But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
( http://bible.cc/matthew/5-22.htm )
I know, tounge in cheek again. :)
Ted wrote: I contend that the scientist abuses his prerogative to lay claim over supernatural phenomena since
1. he has never nor can ever prove anything about spiritual things at all and
2. that this lack of proof does not mean lack of reality to spiritual things but a lack in the tools science uses; the mental discernment and evaluation of physical things. The scientist has not yet proven his tools are workable for the discernment of spiritual things.
playhavock
Indeed, science is constrained by what ability’s we have now, and we can only observe what is observable, the claim that supernatualistic realms exist has zero proof to offer at all. We are told it exists, and told we cannot observe it empirically, test it at all, that we can only believe that it is so. The same is true of magical ideas and realms.


Ted
Agreed.
Shocking, have I won a second point? This is the whole thrust of my side of the augment that the two things are identical objectivly speaking.
Ted wrote: 1 Corinthians 2:15 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. How can a blind person prove the sighted cannot see?
playhavock
How can a blind person prove the sighted cannot see - let me answer this question, first I must address again the use of scripture being unjustified as yet, we do not know what the words mean, or that Ted's idea of how they are meant to be used is correct. Now, to the question, the blind person cannot prove that sighted cannot see because then the sighted people would be blind. Thus, the question is nonsensical, however, I did want to answer it by explaining that it is not a properly formatted question.
Ted
I contend that the question is not nonsensical but ony that the answer is impossible, that is: the blind person cannot prove that sighted cannot see!
An impossible answer is a nonsensical and illformed question, so this is moot.

Ted
As an analogy that because the non-believer cannot discern spiritual things, they cannot say those spiritual things can't be seen by anyone, whether they are not there or whatever...not seeing cannot speak to what others claim to see...it is impossible for them to know, they are blind.
This is all based on your idea of the Holy Book that you think is correct. We have still two major objections that would dismiss this as being true:

1: You have not shown us that this Holy Book is true.
2: You have not shown us that your idea of what this Holy Book says is the correct idea.

However, even setting aside that as an issue, we still have the issue that the whole analogy is based on an imposible to answer question, making it one large non starter. If one asks a question they know can not be answered, then presents an anoligy based on that one has nothing more then a constuct based upon non-logic from start to finnish. If you would not accept me doing the same to prove a point I wish to make, do not expect me to do that for you. I serously do not think you would alow me to do this and/or accept an augment if I pressed it to you in this framing.

--
Ted wrote: [ASIDE: In Matt 17:18-20 Jesus was also telling us of the use of faith as a power in the world. Magic is also a power and (sometimes) a demonic power. There seems to be a possibility that power to effect the world at a distance is somewhat readily available to spiritual beings as many religions attest.
If so I might consider that if power is freely available to anyone, the difference must be in who is wielding the power: mountain moving by a saint is faith but by a demon is magic: Matthew 24:24 can be interprreted to mean the deceit is in the person, not the magic but perhaps that is moot. I do shrug though because this is somewhat uncharted territory for me.
playhavock
And how do we tell the difference between a saint and a demon? If both can move the mountain, we can observe this to be true. If we are not allowed via science to look at the "how" or the power behind this ability, due to its supernatural nature, then other than the "word" of the person doing the moving of said mountain, how can we know anything about the source of said power, we cannot decide what one is faith, and what one is magic.
Ted
Again, I can only point you to the gospel message as the loadstone for truth, the great arbitrator of truth and to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, (which alas, can also be and is often counterfeit by satan)
So if this is correct... satan can mimic and/or counterfeit an indewlling of a person telling them that things are true or false, and leading them to think that a spirt that they are trying to say is good or evil is not evil even if it is, and so on. Now you have added a secondary layer of issues for the skeptic.

Not only can we the observer no longer know if someone is performing magic or using faith, but now the christan who can claim all they want that they KNOW (due to holy spirit) that said person is NOT using faith - but the whole time even THEY can not be sure that they have the REAL holy spirt inside them!

--
(skiping over more quotes from scripture they do not add to the debate at hand, nor do I have any thing more to say on them)
--

Ted
Except by our faith we will be kept free from illusion... :)
I contend that your faith is the illusion that is keeping you from freedom of thought, of ablity to analis, to ask the questions I am asking. Perhaps it is the one who has faith who is "blind" as you say. You THINK that you are keeped from illusion, but how can you know this when you can not analise it? You can only belive that it is true - you can never know it is true.

playhavock
Of course, all tests we have tried to do on magical claims and faith claims have failed to produce results, we get the same results we would expect from chance and chance alone, but, as Ted says, we just cannot look at faith or magic with science. And what does that leave us with? Two claims that we can never observe, test, understand, or be sure of. We have two things that may or may not be able to move mountains, two unverified and unverifiable claims that offer no proof of there working at all.
Ted
I suggest that world wide miracles of mountain moving portent will soon (or if not soon, then some day) be seen with no doubt as to the miraculous quality of them as miracles such that only those protected by GOD will not bow before the magician as to a god.
I will never bow down to anyone unless phyiscaly forced to do so. I will never submit to anyone - I will fight to the last breath in my body and brain and ablity. I will not bow to your god, or magic men (or women) or anyone else. I am my own person. I serve no one, I am free. The sudden occurance of mountan moving of people if that ever did happen, and I do not think it ever will, would meen nothing - I would if not personaly study, fund those who want to study it, I would assume nothing about the event without futher data.

How would the amount of movement show who is right? Satan might send out millons of demons looking like humans and claiming to be christans to move mountans Who knows. With your system there would be zero way to deside what is going on. With the system I use there would be, if there WAS such a thing as magic we could test it, we could learn about it, simulary if faith was a thing that could do things - yet you insist that we can not test this, we can only know via a very vague system, and even then we might be fooled by evil spirts indweeling inside of us.

I simply do not belive in such things, there is no proof they exist, but if they did, as Ted sugests, we could not know the diferance beween evil and good. Magic and faith. We would only have an inner idea - and that inner idea itself might be lying to us if it is an evil spirt. There would simply be zero way to know, magic and faith would still be one and the same.

-
playhavock
So, unless Ted can produce a new definition of faith not utilizing scriptures as reference to show how it is any better and/or different then magic I think we must conclude from both his own definitions and logic and my opening augment, that faith and magic are equal in the sense that I have augured, mainly: faith is nothing more than magic as far as useable results produced.
Ted
I contend that I have shown clearly from the only reference available to us on this topic of faith vrs magic, the Bible,
Not the only referance....

Ted
(no reference on the source and quality of magical demonic power being offered), that though the result of the use of devlish magic and the saint's miracles, (Rev 11:5-7) might be the same, that the miracles of faith can swallow up the results of magic as they are lesser and the reason for the miracle is to encourage faith in GOD while the reason for the magic is deceit, to lead the viewer from GOD, and that faith is the pe+rogative of GODly power and while the word miracle is applied to satanic power, the connotation of faith is conspicuously absent.
Therefore, although the absence of an understanding of the nature of the power that is used by faith or in demonic magic is equal, the rest of my study showing decisive differences between faith and magic must hold and faith and magic are not equal.

You have a possible way to show what one has more power, if the faith produced tricks (no idea what else to call them) of ... making a snake, say - can always be shown to "eat" the magic produced snake - then you have now an objecive way to TEST this... but before you said there was no way to test the difernace, now there seems to be a way! Now, from the two storys in the bible you outlined before, we could extraplate that this might be the case. So, it would be time to put it to the test - lets get someone who can by faith do (X) and someone else who says by magic they can do the same (X) then see if person 1's (X) will "eat" the second person's (X).

If you could do this, repeatably, you would now have an objective data sorce, (And a millon dollars for proving something exists beound science) but- I do not think you will find even one person who can actualy do (X) be it by faith or by magic, no one will alow themselfs to be tested, not now. Now in the past - who knows, who can say, it is a writen account of what someone belived happen, that is all I can say objectivly on the matter.

Your idea is of merrit, but without the fleshing out of it that would be nessary for it to be an actual test, it is nothing more then an idea. And all of it, again - is based on us accepting your view of the storys as the corect view. When it might not in fact be correct.

Yet, I score you postive here, you have a glimer of a possible test - a way to show us that one is greater then the other, thus, a way that we could objectivly know the difernce between the two! If only this could be tested.... but - you have said too offen that it cannot be tested, and if you now are wanting to say it could be tested, then simply show us the test and the results, and you will not only win this minor debate, but one millon bucks, and world wide attention to your faith, ideas, and so on.

But, I do not think you can do this, I do not think you will do this, and I do not think that such a thing is possible. I could be wrong, it is your burdan to show me that I am. To show us all.

Ted
As for, faith is nothing more than magic as far as useable results produced, I contend that no useable result (by the lack of science to even test the hypothesis), do not prove equality any more than they prove inequality...nothing in this case can ony prove nothing.
If they prove nothing, then that meens that nothing is yet proven. We can not test eather side (or we could use science to deside this matter) you sugest a possible way for us to deside, then here say that we can not in fact test it after all, and that we can't test it for you proves nothing, but it proves everything- if we can't test (X) and (Y) we must be skeptical about both, both are equal in this sence, for both can not be known. Futher, I think we have seen that using your system adds more issues then using the system of science would, and we are appernly, again, not alowed to do that. So we are should be skepical.

===================================================

Closing remarks


Now, my rebutal is done. Ted will have the final rebutal and I offered him a closing statment but he has declined to make one. So, the debate will end with Ted's rebutals of my augments above - I'm not sure if he will rebutal my closing statment, but - we have not stuck to the rules of formal debate, so I have no idea! :D

This has been a very strange debate for me, more then once I found myself wanting to point out the logical fallacys that were made, to insist that Ted give us proof of what he is saying. My goal here can not be to deconvert Ted, no - my goal is not even to convince Ted that I am right, although that would be wonderous to do - no my goal in this debate is to sharpen Ted. I will here point towards scirpture since Ted is found of it, "one sword shapens the other" we can learn from other people. Tossing scripture at someone will not stick.

I think Ted does a huge disfavor to himself by doing this, rather then by engaging us directly. It was when Ted did not use scripture that I was most engaged in what his ideas were, and why he thought those ideas, for me, I'd perfer he had used more resroces and reasions why his ideas are what they are, but when Ted was Ted is when I was most put to thinking - when Ted was tossing scripture, I was very disengaged, and unimpressed, more of the same, "nothing new under the sun" I want Ted to think more - use Christan diconarys for a resorce, use commentary made in Bibles, use other sorces for your side of the debate. Take the time to learn logic and how it is used, take the time to learn more about debate. Read other things outside of the bible.

One thing that I think would help Ted, and perhaps others is to think of it this way:

Pretend that I am a missonary of (X) relgion you have never before known of, and I'm at your door. What would I have to say, or do, or not say or do, what evedance would I have to have, what would it take for you to see that I held the truth?

Answer that question to yourself honestly, then see if you can take that answer and use it for your own faith and relgion. For the ones who say "nothing" then, I can not help you expand outside your ideas, your faith has traped you, you might be in the wrong one, but you will never see it or know it. For those who answer my thought experment that nothing anyone would say would convice you that they are right (because you belvie you can not be wrong) - you are the ones who I most pitty. I have nothing to offer such a person. Yet, I know people can change - and so, perhaps you are not that person who says "nothing" but rather wants to expand your ablity to think, to reasion. Be of faith if you must, belive in a God or more then one if you must, but do so with critical thinking, learn more about your relgion, its histroy, other teachings, become smarter about it. Be a deeper person.

Think!

To learn more... to know more... that is the real magic!
... Or maybe its faith! ;)

Thank you for your time to read this. Thanks to Ted for doing a debate, I hope to see him do others latter on. And I do hope he will rely less on quotes from the bible, and more on other sorces and his own thoughts. Peace and love to you and yours.

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ttruscott
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PS*: Since I read your last posts my thoughts went in this direction which now seems to me to be a closing statement rather than rebutal but hey... :) The problem with the debate style is that it argues for truth and as a man of faith I argue for faith which you have found out is, to me, without proof though a long study of the available evidence has convinced me to have hope it will pan out.

Since I cannot offer proof, all I ask is that you discern the cohesive nature of my arguments, their internal integrity and their faithfulness to the attributes of GOD and to most of Christianity, of which I am a slight, small heretic. This is the reason I quote scripture, to show that I am not making things up but have religious, if not secular, support.

It is common in religious discussion to accept and trust such things so your dismay at being burdened by them would be like me being burdened by demands for scientific proof of spiritual things...I do understand but have little else to offer to show why I trust a certain idea. I could talk about the leading of the Holy Spirit within me but I expect that to be a non-starter...

*PS is Pre-Script: :)

Here are religious dictionary definitions of faith who mention hope but do not seem to understand its significance.

Faith: http://carm.org/dictionary-faith
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). Faith should be understood as synonymous with trust and or confidence in something. Within Christianity, It is a divine gift (Rom. 12:3) and comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). It is the means by which the grace of God is accounted to the believer who trusts in the work of Jesus on the cross (Eph. 2:8). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). It is by faith that Christians live their lives, "The righteous shall live by faith," (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17).


Faith: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ ... =t&ld=1093
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.


Faith: http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/g/faith.htm
Definition: Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt.

Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 states, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

The Bible gives this description of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (NIV)


Definition of FAITH: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictiona ... 1352053380
1
a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2
a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3
: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>

Luke 17:6 He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.

Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."


My use of scripture:

I trust it like you trust your secular dictionaries. Have you proven my definition of faith as hope is inferior somehow to ordinary trust, conviction and loyalty? Does the hope injected by the Bible into the definition change the meaning that much? I suggest, not at all.

I do not see why you contend this non-issue of sources, especially that I have come to see that the use of faith that seems magical is what you are actually debating and, I'm sorry to disappoint, I know nothing about such faith. <sigh>

[I tend to argue that my faith is not unreasonable and in fact studies the evidence and is quite ordinary, a tool of everyone's emotional toolbox. I thought this might be the same but, alas alack, it is quite different.]

As well, I think that I am so used to thinking in scriptural terms that I see the connections immediately to the Christian understanding of reality which seems to have had the sad effect of leaving you behind. I'll do better in the future explaining why my references are pertinent but since our standards of acceptance are so different... :(

I know nothing about the use of faith to move montains. Is it the same power as magic? I know not but I know it
- fails in power before GODly faith
- is rejected as evil by the faithful
- it will be the main means that the anti-christ will use to deceive the world as per Rev. 13:11-18, quoted to show what /who Anti-Christ is and to show that magic can be immense (but can't match faith):

[Rev. 13:11-18 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." (666)
]

By these and other evidences that I accept though I know you doubt their veracity since they are unprovable, I accept magical power is real, not just illusion, but I do not know
- if it is an illegal use of power,
- if the user is forbidden to use that power or
- if it is a different and taboo power.
Since I can't prove this by scripture and you can't prove either faith or magic by science, I think it is too early to say that faith is nothing more than magic though I will not be surprised to find they are the same power as a spiritual man I respect very much once told me that spiritual power is like gravity, it is always there and available to anyone who knows how to use it.

JUST remember; if you see someone doing great miracles, even of healing, it is not proof he is holy...only his message about Jesus is the proof he is from or against GOD.

So, sorry to get started all wrong and not finding a mountain to move sooner. Thanks for the fun and I hope I did not disappoint too much,

Peace, Ted
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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